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LeBron injury update; Strong words from Bosh; Wade's new nickname?; the people who will decide UM's fate; Loria changes mind

We'll post the Sunday buzz later. A few things, in order: UM, Heat, Marlins ---

### So who will decide UM’s fate? At least five, and maybe more, of the 18 members of the infractions committee.

If you're wondering, that group includes these folks:

Former Michigan football coach Lloyd Carr, former Georgia Tech basketball coach Bobby Cremins, Kansas City based attorney John Black, Washington D.C. based attorney Roscoe Howard, SEC associate commissioner Gregory Sankey, Conference USA commissioner Britton Banowsky (the chairperson)…

Notre Dame senior deputy A.D. Melissa Conboy, Oregon law professor James O’Fallon, Missouri law professor Rodney Uphoff….

Bowling Green A.D. Greg Christopher, Temple law professor Eleanor Myers, Tampa based attorney Christopher Griffin, Georgia president Michael Adams…

Former U.S. attorney Norman Bay, former Bowling Green president Carol Cartwright, Iowa State senior vice president Thomas Hill, former Minnesota A.D. Joe Maturi, and Princeton attorney Sankar Suryanarayan.

The NCAA case very likely be heard in mid-June after the infractions committee agreed to move up the enforcement staff's timetable. An official close with someone on Friday's conference call said nothing else was decided on the call. The NCAA said it would consider the motions by three former assistants to dismiss charges against them, but none know if they have a legitimate chance of success. At least one of the three has been considering a lawsuit.

HEAT

### LeBron James said after the morning shootaround in Philadelphia this morning that his quad/knee injury, sustained in a collision with Chicago's Nate Robinson on Thursday, is feeling better and he will play tonight. He cracked that it won't stop him from dunking if there are opportunities on alley-oops.

### Chris Bosh was asked by a New York reporter after practice whether he's amused or annoyed when opponents say they can beat the Heat in the playoffs. (The Knicks weren't mentioned, but coach Mike Woodson and Carmelo Anthony have both said that in recent days).

Responded Bosh: "People have been saying that for a while. It's only happened once. When it's go time, when it's time to put it all on the line, we feel we're the best team out there. During the season, late season, early playoffs, late playoffs, when we're playing our best, we're the best team in the league."

### The Heat plays the 76ers tonight, and aside from their three remaining meetings this season, there's no bigger Philadelphia fan, during the next two months, than the Heat. That's because the Heat will get Philadelphia's first-round pick only if the Sixers make the playoffs, and that's looking like something of a long shot.

The first-round pick is lottery protected for 2013, 2014 and 2015. The Heat's own first-round pick in 2013 belongs to Cleveland as a result of the LeBron James sign-and-trade.

Philadelphia is 3 1/2 games behind Milwaukee for the eighth playoff spot and continues to be without center Andrew Bynum, who practiced Friday but is not close to returning, coach Doug Collins said.

If the Sixers surprisingly squeak in as the eighth seed, the pick the Heat would receive likely would be 15th or 16th overall. Otherwise, Miami will have to wait until a year the 76ers make the playoffs, or 2016 --- whichever comes first.

The Heat acquired the pick on a draft night trade last June; Miami selected former Mississippi State forward Arnett Moultree with the 27th pick and sent him to the 76ers for the 45th pick and a future first-rounder. The Heat used the 45th selection on LSU center Justin Hamilton, whose is playing overseas and will be invited to join the Heat's summer program beginning in July. Moultree has played in only 19 games for the 76ers, averaging 2.4 points and 2.4 rebounds.

### After practice Saturday, LeBron James told Wade to tell reporters his new nickname: "It's WOW! Way of Wade. I think it's corny." Wade cracked: "I'm taking it global."

LORIA TO SPEAK

Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria has refused to speak to the media since mid-November, when he was approached by writers in Chicago and said this when asked why the Marlins traded three of their four most expensive players to Toronto: “If you guys haven’t figured it out yet, I’m not going to figure it out for you!” Then, when asked if he would sell the team, he spewed: "More stupidity!"

But Loria will finally speak on Monday, and P.R. people believe the owner should.  

Cori Zywotow Rice, president of public relations firm Hill & Knowlton/SAMCOR said: “Generally, silence is not a good policy. We, in most circumstances,… recommend our clients to fill the vacuum with their point of view. When there’s an absence of facts, the vacuum often gets filled with speculation, which is not in the client’s best interests.”

In the Marlins’ defense, David Samson and Larry Beinfest have done the best they could to explain the Marlins’ predicament. They were forthright and candid during a Marlins’ media event two weeks ago.

But Loria needs to speak, too, after extracting more than $300 million in public money for a stadium based on the presumption the Marlins would have a competitive payroll.

So what should Loria say? Here’s what we would recommend:

REMEMBER: LORIA DID NOT SAY WHAT'S BELOW. IT"S MERELY WHAT I WOULD SAY IF I WERE HIM, WHAT THE FANS DESERVE TO BE TOLD.

“I want to apologize to our loyal fans for what has happened this offseason. I know it has been difficult for our fans, and I want to explain why we did what we did.

“Let me start by making ourselves accountable. We vastly overestimated the revenue the new stadium would generate. I expected we would draw 33,000 to 35,000 fans per game. In truth, only about 17,000 fans attended each game, on average. As a result, the money we got from tickets, concessions and merchandise was tens of millions of dollars less than we expected.

“I don’t want to leave the impression I’m blaming the fans. If we had put a better team on the field, perhaps more people would have come. But I am puzzled why we had only two sellouts, and why none of the games against the Red Sox sold out.

“At any rate, our revenues were $40 million less than we expected, and as a result, we suffered sizable losses. I am opening our financial books to the media so there aren’t any doubts about that.

“When my business people gave me the revenue projections for this season, I decided I could not stomach the type of financial losses we would incur if we kept the payroll anywhere near where it was last season. And I concluded that the team we had, even before the Hanley Ramirez trade, wasn’t playoff-caliber.

“So I made the difficult decision to trade many of our highest priced players. As much as I loved Jose Reyes and Mark Buehrle, I could not fathom paying Reyes $22 million each of the last four years of his seven-year contract, or Buehrle $18 million and $19 million in the last two years of his four year contract. I could not justify those payroll allocations knowing our revenue isn’t nearly as high as we expected.

“I understand that Jose and Mark were upset about being traded, and I understand their anger. I have decided that in some cases, we are going to re-think our policy about not giving no-trade clauses. I don’t want that to be an impediment to signing free agents if it’s the right player.

“What I’m encouraged about is we have replenished our farm system and added quality young players in Rob Brantley, Jacob Turner, Adeiny Hechavarria, and have several terrific prospects not far from the majors, such as Jose Fernandez and Christian Yelich. MLB.com has six of our players ranked among the top 100 prospects.

“My hope is that our young nucleus of players will grow together this year and we can supplement this team with free agents in the future. My hope is that we can make smarter decisions about how we spend money, because our performance in that area --- mine especially - hasn’t been nearly good enough.

“We said when the new ballpark opened, we expected a payroll in the mid range of all teams, and I am sorry that will not be the case this season. Though our revenue will make that difficult to achieve every year, I understand I have an obligation to field a competitive team. I understand why people are angry about our payroll, but we will build it back up when we are further along in our rebuilding plan.

“And I will make an earnest attempt to do a longterm deal with Giancarlo Stanton long before he can become a free agent after the 2016 season.”

So that would be a start for Loria – making an earnest attempt to be straight with Marlins fans, how ever many are left. Anything less would be disappointing. 

Comments

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UCheat

The issue is, UM is a 'repeat' offender. Turn your back on them for a minute and they will Cheat again. They just can't help themselves.

UMike

UCheat: Right, like every school in the country doesn't pay their athletes...you're a total idiot if you think only UM has done it...you're a total idiot to begin with, come to think of it...UM never had to cheat to win anything on the playing fields, which is probably why you're just another UM hater - we probably demolished which ever team you root for in the past, and you still hate UM for it...which is cool....you're not alone.

You're just an ASS CLOWN if you think that all schools don't pay some money to their student athletes...eithr that or you're just plain STUPID!!

Mark

You're not too biased Ucheat. Go crawl back in the hole you came from.

rc

UM's problem is that the self-imposed bowl bans were not completely legit. If you self-impose, you do it prior to the season not knowing what the result will be. Like when Ohio St. self-imposed prior to the start of the 2012 season and ended up costing them a chance at the BCS champ. game. You don't wait until you realize that you'll likely get invited to the Poulan Weedeater bowl after a 7-5 season and then decide you're "punishing" yourself by self-imposing. UM probably saved money not having to go to low profile bowls the past 2 years. FSU lost almost 1 million dollars on last years ACC champ. game due to poor ticket sales.

Lt. Lois Einhorn

Pssst - they self imposed knowing they were giving up a chance at an ACC championships and a BCS bowl game in their home stadium.

UMike

It doesn't matter which bowl they "self-imposed" themselves from...they did in IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE NCAA, and in turn, the NCAA illegally paid for information..........THAT IS THE BOTTOM LINE...you cannot IMPOSE SANCTIONS against any school, no matter what they did, if YOU, THE "POWER" that is supposed to look over such things, TAINTED YOUR INVESTIGATION.

It's clear, it's common sense...I think UM should sue them to the highest courts, period, and I'm not saying that UM didn't do wrong.

As for FSU losing $$ due to poor ticket sales...interesting, they're always talking UM down about low attendance, etc...etc...and, FSU is the ONLY SHOW IN TOWN up in Southern Georgia...so, what's the excuse for poor ticket sales?

Please...Screw the NCAA, and FSU, too!! FSU should be kissing the NCAA's butts because on NUMEROUS OCCASIONS, while Bobby was there, FSU got wrist slapped for things that IF the same thing had happened at UM, the NCAA would be calling for the death penalty...FSU is one of the NCAA's darlings, along with Notre Dame, Michigan, Indiana, Duke, etc.

Please, don't even do there!

boe

Let me watch these young players develop with the Marlins, then when they get good you trade them away. No, thanks not interested. I i wanted to watch the top prospects, I will go to a minor league game.

spitballer

Barry...the attendance argument is a cop out. Look at the Rays...they have a worst attendance issue than the Marlins & a horrible stadium....yet they have been able to keep their stars for several years & create new ones. The majority of profits for these baseball teams as demonstrated by Deadspin.com come from TV revenue & the luxury tax. I bet the Marlins made a profit last year.....as for seeing their books….. that has a snowball chance in hell of happening.

Barry Jackson

Spitballer, the Marlins have told MLB and the MLBPA they lost $40 million. But you're right in that nobody can know if that's accurate unless they open their books.

Miami Fan

I hope Missy Conboy from Notre Dame is not on the infractions committee. She was relentless in insisting USC was given a 30 scholarship penalty for one person, Reggie Bush, taking money from a drug felon with no connection to USC. I can just imagine what she will do to Miami. She is the devil! USC just finished the first of 3 years of being down 10 scholarships and you can see how it hurt USC and directly helped their arch rival in recruiting, Notre Dame. You may think the investigators were unfair, just wait till you see how the infractions committee acts. There are no standards for punishments and the crooked NCAA stacks the jury box. Someone should write about that now before the jury is selected for us!

mike

rc, you're wrong and don't know what you're talking about. Other programs have done the very same thing, and the NCAA has recognized the action. USC did it, and the NCAA didn't impose any other sanctions. Try to be accurate. I guess FSU didn't want to play in the ACC championship...........get out of here.

mike

Btw FSU didn't lose a million dollars, it was 470,000 dollars. Each team was given 10,000 tickets to sell at prices ranging from $40 to $150. Florida State sold just 2,033 tickets for a total of $185,210. They didn't sell their ticket haha, too bad, boo hoo.

rc

USC did not self-impose a bowl ban at the end of the football season

they did in the summer of 2010 in advance of the 2010 and 2011 seasons

Tony in Miami

Barry, this guy is multimillionare, don't waste ur time in put words on his mouth, because this type of person never reserve a favor, he is lier to the fan base and to the players he signed, so let him his bad odor kill his ego.
What we must do is no show to the games -boycot the games -- and write to the Commisioner in order to push him to sale the team

harleyray

How could Loria even begin to think that any free agent would sign with the Marlins? After lieing to Reyes two days before he was traded to Toronto and telling him that he was not even considered for a trade! Are you kidding me? The man is a true dirt bag and we can only hope and pray that he will sell the team.

Pete's

The U is dirty. Take your medicine and stop whining. So sick of all theses U fans saying we're getting screwed blah blah blah. If you weren't dirty, you wouldn't be in trouble AGAIN!!

mike

rc, yeah dummy, and what's the difference. The NCAA recognized their imposition like they will recognize the U's. Are all Half As U fans as dense as you.

sflafan

BARRY....you didn't reply to "spitballers" very, very good point about The Rays. Why is it that they can consistently field a decent product and sign their share of players with the worst stadium in the league and terrible attendance? Barry, I personally had NO problem with them getting rid of the players they did. I HATED the team as composed. It was defective and flawed. It was an expensive piece of junk. It made no sense how they threw it together from the get go. Which points to the front office stupidity. If they hadn't been incompetent in building a team, we wouldn't be in this position. That being said, once they got rid of all the JUNK, why not show a bit of good faith and give it ANOTHER shot? Maybe not go for the "home run" by signing $100 Million free agents, but why not bring in a couple of solid, moderately priced free agent, veteran ball players who can fit in alongside the youth? You want to feed us the "youth" strategy, ok...I'll buy it for now. There's potential there. But, I won't let you get off that easy. YOU MUST PUT MONEY INTO THE TEAM. Spend money NOW on a couple of nice players we can get behind and can help develop the kids. YOU GAVE US YOUR WORD! BUILD IT, AND YOU WILL SPEND. You cannot use the excuse that you messed up by spending big money, and that's evidence that you shouldn't spend money at all. CANT SELL THAT! No, you get rid of the junk (like you did), and try again more modestly. And you CANNOT SELL the excuse that your payroll has to be limited due to poor attendance. We only feel like punching them in the mouth when they say that. That was NOT PART OF THE DEAL. The promised (and the people feel "contracted")equation was Stadium = spend money = "hope" to win = "hope" to get fans. SPENDING MONEY was NEVER a variable in the Stadium issue. It was an assumed, promised constant. A given. The teams financial, fiduciary duty to the city who purchased the building. Their financial "consideration" for the cities part in providing them their shiny new gem. And they reneged on that PROMISE in 1 year. They MUST spend the money NOW. IT'S OUR TURN NOW FELLAS! Bring us a couple name players, hit on the youngsters and KEEP Stanton and we "MIGHT" give you a chance. If you don't, may the new, retractable roof collapse upon a sea of empty seats while you thieving, conniving sewer rats get squashed below.

lancepowerhouse

Who really cares what happens. Screw everyone who hates the U- Golden has us on the right path and we will be playing for a national title very soon. Give us our penalty and let's move in the right direction towards Whipping all these punks talking smack about us-

Hope our student athletes learn that their actions today will affect the U and all fans for many years to come. Be smart- the Devil is lurking- honor God, your parents, coaches, friends, Miami fans and the U by representing and making choices that wont hurt the integrity of our Great University. Be U Strong!!!

Go Canes

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